The Lack Of Turnover Is The Real Key To Storage Success
Many Top Operators try to articulate the "keys to their success", but fail. Many speak of their great locations, good managers, superior product, etc. The real key.......reduced turnover!
Historically, the self-storage industry has reported an average tenure of their managers to be around 18 months. One and a half years. With the amount of energy it takes to recruit, hire, train, follow-up train, and so on, you don't have time for that. In 18 months, the managers are just starting to get their legs under them. So why to high turnover rate in the industry? Here is our opinion:
Compensation - Managers appear to be chasing (and leaving you) for $0.50 here, or a $1.00 there. Are they being incentivized the right way? This can be caught during the initial interview. During interviews, we never ask an applicant "what do you need to make per hour". We ask this question: "What do you need to make to pay the bills and maintain your current lifestyle?" Phrasing it this way gets them talking. You will also find out what motivates them. Part of our very low turnover rate is our performance based compensation plan. It really is unmatched. Find out what makes your team tick!!
Complacency - Storage is a breeding ground for boredom and complacency. Nobody wants to be bored....but the ones that do, should not be working for you. There are many things to do on a property, even when you are full. Make sure you have a clear set of expectations for the team. For example, what you think the property should look like, how it should present, and what they should do when they have "down time". Set clear expectations.
Leadership - If your leaders, whether it be District Managers, Regional Managers, or you as Owners, are not engaged with the complete operation of the business, the team will sniff that out. Once they do, they will expose you. We feel that the "leaders" of the organization should not only know how to operate the property, but they should have a clear pulse on the market. Your manager needs to be able to work with someone that is 100% on the same page. If your leaders aren't engages, how do you expect the managers to be?
Hire Right, the First Time - If you do not have a standard ad, telephone interview script, in-person interview script, offer letters, online on boarding, you are missing the boat. A structured hiring process will help smoke out most that should not be part of your team. Hiring is time consuming and expensive. Give a little more effort from the start.
There are many other things that can create your successes and failures, but these four things should get you on the right track!